Senior Older and Wiser By June Michel


OUR CORNERSTONES ARE ON THE MOVE SENIORS. We rely on Social Security and Medicare and in the last few weeks both have undergone historic changes. Beginning in January you will earn more from Social Security and pay more for your Medicare Part B. Lets take it one at a time.

SOCIAL SECURITY AND SSI RECEIVE HISTORIC COST OF LIVING INCREASE: Beginning January 2022, Social Security and SSI checks will increase by 5.9 percent. This is the highest increase in forty years. The cost of living (COLA) increase is generally tied to inflation and the rising cot of everything from food to gas, but this year the pandemic played a role in the increase. The average monthly increase will be about $50- $90.

HOW TO CALCULATE INCREASE:

You can calculate your increase by taking the gross amount you receive each month, before deductions such as Medicare, and multiplying it by 1.059. Hint, use your cell phone calculator. This is good news for the 70 million Americans that receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income. Happy Thanksgiving.

MEDICARE PART B PREMIUMS WENT UP: OK, that was the good news. The other major change for seniors is that about five days ago, Medicare raised the premium for Part B insurance from $148.50 per month to $170.10, an increase of $21.60.

They have given various reasons for the increase including the high cost of the pandemic and the anticipated high cost of treating Alzheimer’s disease. You can read the Fact Sheet on Medicare part B premiums at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2022-medicare-parts-b-premiums-and-deductibles2022-medicare-part-d-income-related-monthly-adjustment

DON’T MISS OUT ON MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT: Open enrollment ends in just three weeks, on December 7. Until then you can join, switch, or drop a plan without a penalty. Your coverage will begin on January 1. Every year I force myself to do a comparison between my current policy and others available. More importantly, every year I manage to improve my coverage or decrease my premium on this website. Medicare has made shopping for a better plan easy by lining up you’d top three choices side by side so you can compare the items covered such as ambulance, drugs, dental or chiropractic against each company’s cost. Here is the website: https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare/

Remember, you read it in the FACTS Newspaper.